Hallsville Erupts In Second Half For 5-1 Area-Round Win Over Dallas Adamson
LINDALE -- A year removed from a surprising run to the regional tournament, the Hallsville Bobcats are beginning to make playoff success look routine.
The Bobcats broke open a one-goal lead at halftime by scoring four times in the second half for a 5-1 win over Dallas Adamson in their Class 5A Region II area-round match Thursday night at Eagle Stadium.
Hallsville (17-7-2), which had never won in the playoffs until last season, is now one win from reaching regionals for a second consecutive year. The Bobcats will meet Jacksonville, a 3-2 overtime winner over Mansfield Lake Ridge also on Thursday, in the regional quarterfinals Tuesday night back in Lindale.
"Last year it was 'hey, just try to act like you've been here before,'" said Hallsville coach Tom Wait. "Now it's 'hey, we've been here before. Let's go out and play our game.' And we do, we're much calmer and we know what to say to each other and how to approach the game and what to look for."
The Bobcats got goals from four different players and were the beneficiaries of an Adamson (11-9-3) own-goal early in the second half, and a penalty kick tally midway through the half.
Adamson was without the services of its best player, Matthew Gonzalez, who was playing with FC Dallas' U-17 squad Thursday at the Dallas Cup. Gonzalez scored both goals in the Leopards' 2-1 come-from-behind bi-district win over Red Oak last week.
"He links up their offense real well," Wait said of Gonzalez. "And they were just stymied up front; they just didn't have much going up front. But around the field their skill was good. But they couldn't match us in the boxes."
Hallsville made the most of its large size advantage over Adamson.
"It's a big advantage when we get throw-ins and corners," Wait said of the discrepancy. "When you're 6-3, 6-4 and they're 5-7 and the ball's played up … we're just going up and trying to win that ball up high. And when there's a crowd in there that ball bounces one way or the other way, and it comes right to us. And we're good at it, we're good in the air."
Despite mounting several scoring opportunities in the first 40 minutes, Hallsville had to settle for a 1-0 halftime lead. The Bobcats got on the board with 19:40 remaining until intermission when Marco Robles headed a rebound past Adamson keeper Alexis Martinez.
Hallsville received some help from Adamson in the seventh minute of the second half when Adamson's Miguel Rios inadvertently headed a crossing pass from the Bobcats' Caleb Hagans past his own goalie, which gave Hallsville a 2-0 lead with 33:15 remaining.
"Give credit to our size on that because they're (Adamson) just throwing their bodies at the ball," Wait said. "And when they're throwing their bodies because we've got good size in there, that stuff does take place and does happen."
Adamson answered its mistake seven minutes later when Fernando Duarte's free kick from 22 yards out shot past Hallsville keeper Caden Zulliger, cutting the Bobcats' lead to 2-1 with 26:18 remaining in regulation.
Hallsville regained the momentum in less than five minutes when Jamil Young was awarded a penalty kick and scored for a 3-1 Bobcats lead with 21:37 to play.
The Bobcats scored twice more in the match's final minutes -- Andrew Southard's goal off a 52-yard free kick from Juan Lopez with 13:17 remaining, and Alan Acuna's rebound, which was set in motion after a Robles free kick with 6:25 to go.
"We got a little bit of the wind advantage (in the second half)," Wait said. "Really we felt like we could have had at least a couple more goals in that first half, and it just didn't happen. It's the playoffs, and it's just a credit to their team to keep fighting and keep working. They had a really hard time handling Jamil tonight; Jamil was pretty much just all over the field."